(Note: this is the tenth and last of a 10-part series listing my revised top 10 business planning mistakes. The list goes from 10, the least important, to 1, this one, the most important.)
Planning is vital for your business. Start with a business plan and a regular review schedule, then track results and changing assumptions and revise the plan as needed to accommodate a changing world. The value isn’t in the original plan, but rather in the planning that follows, which becomes steering your business.
Planning isn’t just a business plan. It’s business management. The real benefit comes from setting up the assumptions and the links between strategy and specific actions, plus the metrics, and the task assignments. As assumptions change – and of course they will – having the plan already in place increases the power of revisions.
Planning, like steering and management, isn’t just a map and a destination; it’s constant course corrections, the original route map subject to modifications for real time events. So it’s more like a GPS system with real-time traffic and weather information, so you can adjust the route.
That business plan isn’t the end in itself; it’s just the first step. Expect it to be wrong, and plan to revise it. What you’ll gain is controlling your own business destiny prioritizing, setting up metrics, managing change, and steering your business better.
In the illustration: plan vs. actual becomes steering and management.
(image credit: Jiri Hera/shutterstock.com, istockphoto)